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Gameday blog: Virginia Tech-Miami

SUN LIFE STADIUM -- The 24th-ranked Canes (7-3, 5-2) will try to keep their hopes of reaching the ACC Championship alive when they take on 14th-ranked Virginia Tech (8-2, 6-0) at 3:30 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPN and can be heard on WQAM.com. Feel free to follow along and participate in our discussion below.

REWIND: UM is 17-10 all-time against the Hokies, but is 2-5 in the last seven meetings including last year's 31-7 loss in Blacksburg. UM knocked off Virginia Tech 16-14 the last time the Hokies visited South Florida in 2008.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH: Virginia Tech has won eight in a row since they opened the season with losses to Boise State and James Madison. With a win over the Canes, they'll clinch the Coastal Division crown for the fifth time in the last seven years. Virginia Tech is led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 1,988 yards, 18 TDs and four INTs. He's also run for 581 yards and 3 TDs. The running game is led by Darren Evans (605 yards, 9 TDs). David Wilson (462 yards, 4 TDs) and Ryan Williams (262 yards, 5 TDs) also carry the ball plenty. Defenisvely, sophomore linebacker Bruce Taylor (77 tackles) is the leader. He leads the team in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (6). Sophomore cornerback Jayron Hosley has seven of the teams 16 INTs. The Hokies have three different players handling the kicking dutires. 

FOR THE U, KEEP AN EYE ON...

> Red Zone and 3rd down execution... It's been the focus in practice for UM all week. The Hokies convert 43 percent of the time on third down offensively (41st nationally) and are good in both red-zone offense (they've scored on 43 of 48 drives inside the 20, 90 percent clip) and red-zone defense (they rank 14th, 72%).

> Will Jacory Harris play... He practiced all week in a non-contact jersey. But conspiracy theorists believe UM coach Randy Shannon might throw a curveball at Virginia Tech and play him alongside freshman Stephen Morris. To me, whether or not Harris plays isn't as important as if UM maintains the same game plan they've had the last two weeks -- running the football. UM has pounded opposing teams into submission the last two weeks. Virginia Tech's run defense ranks 65th in the country -- giving up 155 yards a game. The pass defense? Much better (21st overall, 188 yards per game).

> Leonard Hankerson vs. Jayron Hosley/Hokies pass defense... Even though UM has run the ball plenty lately, they'll still have relied on the pass to produce points. Hankerson has been the go-to-guy for those big plays, hauling in a 79-yard TD pass last week at Georgia Tech and the game-winning TD pass versus Maryland. He is sure to be closely guarded by Hosley, arguably the best corner in the ACC.

MY PICK: Three-game winning streaks are pretty rare at UM these days. Since UM rattled off five in a row in 2008, the Canes have had only one three-game winning streak -- Oklahoma, FAMU, UCF. Since then, it's been a steady pattern of two wins followed by a loss. Time to break the trend. I'm picking the Canes here based on their running game. They'll pound Virginia Tech and hold Taylor out of the end zone just enough. MIAMI 27, VA. TECH 24.

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Comments

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Randy Shannon is a bad head coach... It is obvious... These kids make mistakes soooooo often....

He has no control over Whipple... He always looks shocked by the bad play calls...
You are the Headcoach!

And if someone else talks about 44 like he is a great backer... I... I am not gonna say...
But he blows so many keys and is out of position... That last TD was on him.
And... Miami coaching staff... Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree Scott. Miller is by far their best back. RUN HIM! No... Randy is too concerned with the feelings of the other RB's. And let's give Whipple credit for another pathetic playcalling game.

Where are all of the TRavis Benjamin defenders at now? JUST DROPPED A SURE TOUCHDOWN!!!!!

Benjamin sucks....put him on the bench

What is WR coach doing on this team. This is unbelievable

DIVE FOR THE DAMN BALL! I was no Div 1 talent, but I would NEVER drop that ball. I'd dive full extension and make that catch as if my LIFE depended on it. These flashy receivers like Benjamin have no courage or footbal smarts. DIVE, catch it and give your team a 1st down 40 yards downfield. There is a BIG difference between an athlete (Benjamin) and a "football player". Michael Irvin lays out and makes that catch. Benjamin doesn't want to get his coll uni's dirty. Wuss!

How does Miami's 3 and 4 star guys constantly get outplayed by VT 2 and 3 stars? Coaching?

MIAMI WILL NEVER CONTEND FOR A TITLE AS LONG AS RANDY SHANNON IS THE COACH, FACE IT. HE CANT GET IT DONE, GOOD RECRUITER HORRIBLE COACH.

Benjamin needs to be judged. YES judged!! He needs to sit on the bench until he can catch a ball. Interception by VT. I am done. What is up with MIAMI? We have won more with less talent.

Not this year... once again

randy has had his chance to succeed, been given every opportunity.
he has failed.

no one cares that the players like him and that kids are graduating.

THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WINS!

FIRE RANDY!

Whipple to the rescue again calling yet another pass play and creating another turnover. Whipple is on the payroll of of V.T.

FIRE RANDY!

Randy with his trademark "What happened?' look on his face. WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT HE IS

RIP

These Morons who run this University are gonna learn the hard way...

No one... No one... Cared about or heard about Univ. of Miami before the Football team went National with it's winning...

UM is becoming an after thought again... And they will feel it in their wallets and the Univ. will suffer.

Idiots... All of them.

Game, set, match... VA Tech.

cry randy.
randy apologist line up ur excuses.

our genius coach with that look of WHat Happened....

Goodbye Randy...we might have let you stay if you got rid of Whipple but..you should have done that long ago. Losers love the company of other losers!

So sick of this team! So much underperforming talent. Not worth watching anymore if it leads to constant frustration. I'm sorry, if they lose, 7-4 and out of the top 25 just wont cut it. RANDY SHANNON MUST GO! We need a superstar coack like Saban who turned Bama into a powerhouse within 2 years. Let's all ban together and do what we can to get rid of that bozo. This town needs the U to be a success. Otherwise, what do we really have. The Dolphins croked many, many years ago.

Uh, David... I wish the team would be better too. But the University is not going to suffer if the team does not perform up to your expectations.

Shalala has been by far the most successful president the university has ever seen. Money (private and federal) keeps coming in at record pace to the university. Football brings some extra cash, but nothing compared to what has been coming in based on academic pursuits.

Biggest mistake this University has made in the last 20 years was NOT doing whatever it took to bring back Butch after the Browns dumped him. Shannon is a complete and total failure as a coach.

without good coaching this team will not do anything in years to come,,,the talent is there but the coaching sucks....shannon looks like a deer in headlights...no emotion..when our best RB only plays a series here and there that just tells you how bad the coaching is...even the annoucers question why Miller is not playing enough....the coaching STAFF has got to go

Any Miami fan who is tired of this cr*p has an obligation to demand better from the University of Miami...SOooo f'ing tired of accepting mediocrity

Turnover U

Is it not obvious where our standing in college football has sunk too having a yakity-yak ugly female announcer call the game? Glad they don't put the camera on her much. Uh-oh, Whipple just called another pass play for a pick by VT. I'm not surprised and can only hope we lose to USF and our toilet bowl game to push the removal of the entire coaching staff. Now I feel better.

Cowboy, I totally agree with your point on who is calling the game. Can you imagine Miami and Va Tech in the 90s NOT being on prime time? We have officially become irrelevant to the world of college football.

parking is easy and no traffic jams with shannon hey, im giving the positives here

am sorry guys tears come out of my eyes just watching this game. and i am really angry at mr.shannon they way his staff coach and how the university administration dont care about this football which basically is their biggest income. I just hope one day we get a great coach. we got plenty of talent but its really a waste. i hate mediocre and thats what this team is.

MISSED TACKLES (a lot of them)....STUPID PENALTIES (a lot of them)....FIVE TURNOVERS = a poorly coached team!

Randy, JUST QUIT, will you? You said that "this is the best team I've had at UM" - well, you MIGHT GO 8-4, or even 7-5...that's the best YOU can do with any team.

Randy & Company, that means WHIPPLE, SHALALA...all of you...you all SUCK!
Shalala and Shannon are turning back UM football by 25 years!

GET THEM ALL THE F**K OUT, NOW!

And, F**K all you who cry all that "racism" CRAP!

FIRE SHANNON AFTER THE USF GAME...!
FIRE WHIPPLE AFTER THE USF GAME...!
GET SHALALA OUTTA TOWN, TOO!

Ok,
All you moron shannon lovers!! Why the hell would you keep playing franklin who gets a penalty every play and benjamin who cant catch a cold!!!!
Coaching lost this game!!! Its time we lose the coaches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My goodness, those uniforms are horrific! The Hurricanes look like Pahokee High School out there! This is the sacrifice of good style in favor of an urban sensibility that is embarrassing to see in this context. One cannot imagine anyone past the age of 14 finding this to be stylish.

SAVE THE PROGRAM FIRE SHANNON

Not a hugh UM fan much these days or a hater but, just wanted to say I love those freaking uni's

stick with the run passing kills us once again

JJONAH: what's wrong, you can't take the TRUTH? LOSER...Shannon sucks, plain and simple.
What, YOU THINK he's a good coach? If that's the case, you failed the F-CAT TEST.

LOSER!
Shannon sucks.
Whipple sucks.
Shalala sucks.
There are seven letters in Shannon.
There are seven letters in Shalala.
There are seven letters in Whipple.

THEY ALL SUCK!

Now the pathetic announcers are starting to make excuses for Shannon!! We truly are a pathetic team anymore.

another loss by candy randy; does'nt he realize yet this team is NOT improving? this so-called head coach cannot beat a decent team-lets discount last year's Oklahoma game-they were missing most of their best players-
let's make-sure that next week the So Fla fans outnumber ours and maybe another message will be sent- out with RS, then the lib sh-la-la, and then in 2012 -the annointed one.

The previous poster is quite correct about Shalala. This is not professional football and her primary mission is to make UM a great ACADEMIC institution and raise funds for the University, both of which she has been more successful at than any past Miami president. Football is secondary to all that.

Besides, I'd wager most of you never even spent a day as a UM student (let alone a graduate). This isn't even "your" team at all.

6 turnovers, SIX!
We LITERALLY threw/gave the game away!
We will NEVER be a good team until we get a staff and players in here who understand discipline. I can look at the stat line in any box score and compare turnovers and penalties and 95% of the time, tell you who won the game.

Here comes yet another December 28-31st, meaningless toilet bowl game.

randy as usual cant win big games

I've supported Coach Shannon as long as I can. Once again, we were beatin by a team w/ inferior athlets who were better coached. When they hired Shannon, I thought it was a great hire. But after four years, the progress is crap. There is no way we should have lost that game, and this isn't the first time I've said that. You were a great Cane, but head coach you are not. We need to hire someone who cracks the whip, and will not tolerate drops and missed tackles. This performance made me sick.

all there is to say, FAILURE not that there was any doubt anyway

I will not bash moris hee. He is just a freshman. Whipple threw him under thebus in the 3rd or 4th q when we were still 10-10, whne he started throwing the ball on 1st down, thus making it obvious that on 3rd down he had to throw.

But for G--s sakes- the fumbles. Berry. Please how is it that you fumble like that?


TB- Youhave hurt this team once too many times- time to sit or go home to whichever neighborhood Pop warner team you came from. Your drops have hurt this team from game one at OSU. You are not a wide receiver. You cannot return punts. You have dropped two punts already, and recovered two luckily. You cannot play football. You are bad. And justbecause you are fast dont meananything. You are proof of that.

Hank- You still drop too many key balls. You will quickly be benched in the NFL if you keep doing this.

mcarthy-for every 2 good tackles you make you miss 3. That TD was on you. Where the --- were you going? You totally misread the play.


THIS IS A HIGH SCHOOL TEAM< WITH A HIGH SCHOOL QUALITY COACH AND HIGH SCHOOL Assistants. This team is a joke. This program is done.

Fire Randy Shannon or we are back to 1979.

Stop recruiting black QBS. That is my free speech at work. Oh no? Hereis the proof:

Kenny Kelly
Ryan Crudup
Jacorry harris
Morris
marve (1/2)

Please.

Can we please get some deep pocket ullumni together to pay off randys contract and bring in an experienced coaching staff

lets hear it apologists!
why should we keep randy now?

2006: Kyle Right is a junior, he's going to have a break out year, we fired Rich Olsen, we have a new OC (Nix???), we're be back. 7-6 Humanitarian Bowl Champs. Kirby Freeman MVP.

2007: Coker is gone, we have Shanon, we're back. Close out Orange Bowl w/ 42-0 loss to UVA, 5-6, no bowl.

2008: We have Marve, he's the man. We have the best freshman class in the nation. We're back. 7-6, lose to Cal in some SF bowl.

2009: We have Jacory Harris. These guys are sophmores now. We're back. 9-4 lose to Wisconsin in Champs Bowl

2010, 7-4, no chance for major bowl.

Since joining the ACC Miami has won one bowl game (UF Peach Bowl '04), has not played a single Bowl Game in Jan, and has not even been to an ACC championship game. Wake Forest, FSU, Virginia Tech, Clemson, BC, and Georgia Tech have all been to a game.

The point: there is no we're back. Same story every year. This is not a couple years now. This is 6 years. Might have to get used to the idea that there will never be a we're back, just a few special years here and there like the basketball team.

Can't be upset with Stephen Morris. He's a true freshman and he was bound to have a multiple interception game.

I can get upset at the defense. Just horrible in the second half. It's disappointing because they had played really well in the first half.

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